Twenty one laps of the cathedral of speed, riders would be trying to make a point after the spat in Superpole. The weather was cold, 10ºC air temperature, 18ºC on the track.
Chaz Davies, running a softer rear tyre than both the Kawasakis, hit the front first and stayed there for a while, briefly losing out to Tom Sykes for one turn before taking the lead back. Marco Melandri took the first turn in second place but was soon swamped by both Kawasakis. Michael van der Mark got caught between a Honda and his teammate Alex Lowes and ran off the track, rejoining in twentieth place.
On the second lap, behind Chaz Davies, Tom Sykes and Jonathan Rea fought over second place, swapping places a couple of times with Rea coming out on top while Davies in front set the lap record and enjoyed almost a second gap from the duelling Kawasakis. A lap later though, Jonathan Rea took the lap record off Davies and closed the gap to the Ducati man, dragging his teammate up with him. Marco Melandri kept on Sykes’s tail, but looked like he was having to work especially hard to do so.
Marco Melandri in fourth place might have been struggling in fourth place, but his pace was still much higher than the bikes behind him, having built a gap of over a second from Lorenzo Savadori and Eugene Laverty by the fourth lap and was over three seconds clear just a lap later. On lap six, Davies and Rea were breaking away from Sykes and Melandri, but as the pace settled at the front, Sykes maintained a fast pace while Melandri dropped back and Sykes caught the front pair and dropped off Melandri who chose to settle for fourth place a mere third of the way through the race.
The front three riders, Davies, Rea and Sykes, kept increasing their gap from Melandri who in turn maintained a five second gap to Xavi Fores, Eugene Laverty and Alex Lowes who took over from Lorenzo Savadori at the front of the battle for fifth place. At the halfway mark, the riders from fourth to eighth places strung out with unsurmountable gaps building between them like a stretched string of pearls.
The race settled into a rhythm for the next few laps until five laps from the end where Tom Sykes started losing his grip on the front pair and snuggled into his third place, almost ten seconds clear of Melandri behind him with the fight from the win taking place over a second ahead; close enough to pick up the pieces if there would be trouble ahead, but far back enough not to get caught up in it.
Four laps from the end, the fight started. Jonathan Rea passed Chaz Davies at turn thirteen, the beginning of the string of chicanes that leads to the finish line, and Davies took the lead back off him two turns later at the famous Geert Timmer chicane battleground.
A lap later, a repeat of the move left Rea in second place, but on lap nineteen of twenty-one, Rea took the lead from Davies on turn four and Davies tried to take it back turn eight, probing for a way past, trying again at turn eight. Davies couldn’t make a pass stick so he slotted in behind Rea and looked like he would make a play in the chicanes at the end, taking the fight to the last lap.
Unfortunately, Davies’s electrics decided they’d had enough and threw in the towel. Davies stared at his dash and tried to reset the bike as he cut across the last chicane, cruising on a glider that used to be a Ducati Panigale race bike, stabbing his finger at the electrical switches as Tom Sykes blasted bast to start the last lap in second place. Davies parked his bike up and we were once again robbed of a Rea v Davies last lap fight.
Marco Melandri in third place looked surprised to be on the podium and didn’t seem to mind trading the pole position in race two for seventh place on the grid.
Jonathan Rea won another race at Assen, missing out on a gentleman’s Saturday set by being penalised off pole position, watching his teammate take his Tissot, but he increased his championship lead over second place to fifty nine points from Tom Sykes. Marco Melandri jumps to third place while Chaz Davies drops to fourth place from second courtesy of his second penultimate lap DNF of the year.
Stefan Bradl gave the 2017 Honda its best result of the year behind Xavi Fores and Lorenzo Savadori while Leandro Mercado further back was penalised one place for cutting the chicane in his run to the finish line.
|1||1||J. REA||Kawasaki ZX-10RR|
|2||66||T. SYKES||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||4.501|
|3||33||M. MELANDRI||Ducati Panigale R||17.673|
|4||12||X. FORÉS||Ducati Panigale R||22.569|
|5||32||L. SAVADORI||Aprilia RSV4 RF||30.797|
|6||6||S. BRADL||Honda CBR1000RR||33.530|
|7||40||R. RAMOS||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||39.176|
|8||50||E. LAVERTY||Aprilia RSV4 RF||39.254|
|9||36||L. MERCADO||Aprilia RSV4 RF||39.266|
|10||2||L. CAMIER||MV Agusta 1000 F4||41.493|
|11||88||R. KRUMMENACHER||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||43.623|
|12||15||A. DE ANGELIS||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||48.218|
|13||35||R. DE ROSA||BMW S 1000 RR||49.487|
|14||69||N. HAYDEN||Honda CBR1000RR||50.016|
|15||86||A. BADOVINI||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||1'00.924|
|16||37||O. JEZEK||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||1'16.401|
|RET||7||C. DAVIES||Ducati Panigale R||1 Lap|
|RET||81||J. TORRES||BMW S 1000 RR||2 Laps|
|RET||22||A. LOWES||Yamaha YZF R1||9 Laps|
|RET||84||R. RUSSO||Yamaha YZF R1||17 Laps|
|RET||60||M. VAN DER MARK||Yamaha YZF R1||19 Laps|